Why get an assessment?
A neuropsychological evaluation provides specific, clinical information about individual development, social cognition, psychological functioning, and behavioral characteristics. When there is a question or concern about an individual’s development, their social or communication skills, or their ability to tolerate stress and effectively adapt to life circumstances, an assessment can provide accurate, insightful information and inform appropriate planning and prioritization for intervention and support.
What does assessment do?
Neuropsychological assessment helps you understand and address any number of concerns you may have for your child or yourself. A comprehensive assessment at CAAT will identify, diagnose and recommend appropriate interventions to mitigate concerns in these and other areas:
Learning Challenges and Disorders
Learning challenges and disorders refer to any number of difficulties that a child or adolescent may have in academic settings, including trouble with reading, writing, math, organization, and attention. As a result of learning challenges, some children, though intelligent, are unable or barely able to meet the demands of a core curriculum despite rigorous effort. For other children, differences in how they learn can make the process of learning slow and immensely difficult. Difficulty in mastering material and learning at the pace of their peers can be incredibly frustrating for both students and parents, and it can have long-term effects on a child’s emotional well-being and self esteem.
A major goal of our neuropsychological evaluations is to identify and address any learning difficulties. Our assessments help clarify the specific and distinct learning challenges and strengths an individual has. Through detailed assessment and personalized report, we are able to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for our clients to abate specific learning difficulties. This allows students who struggle in academic settings to overcome their challenges, and it provides them with strategies for academic success.
Attention and Executive Functioning
Through our comprehensive neuropsychological assessments, we can identify and address difficulties in attention and executive functioning. Executive function refers to a broad set of skills that include flexibility, working memory, planning and monitoring progress towards goals, organizational skills, and self-monitoring/self-regulation. Problems with executive function may lead to difficulties with impulse control, practical problem-solving, establishing goals and following through, organizing materials and thoughts, and short-term memory. These skills are extremely important in academic and work-related settings, as well as day-to-day life.
Difficulties in executive functioning are often linked to attention-related problems, such as ADHD/ADD and impulsivity. Symptoms of attention-related challenges include constant fidgeting, excessive talking, feelings of inner restlessness, a tendency to multitask rather than focus on one activity, and possible trouble with regulating emotions (resulting in temper tantrums and outbursts). Other symptoms of attention-related problems are less easily recognized; some children and adults with attention challenges may daydream quietly or have a tendency to “space out” and miss things.
Many children and adults have problems with attention and executive function, and these difficulties can prevent individuals from reaching their full potential. Our comprehensive neuropsychological assessments identify attention and executive function-related challenges; and as part of the assessment we develop a detailed treatment plan (including recommendations for medication management, daily routine, and strategies for academic and vocational success) on an individualized basis.
Anxiety and Emotional Regulation
Emotional regulation refers to the modulation of emotions—particularly negative ones—in response to experiences. Many children and adults experience some form of emotional dysregulation, in which emotional responses are not modulated properly. This can lead to a variety of emotional challenges, the most common of which is anxiety.
Everyone experiences some level of anxiety in day-to-day life, but some people struggle with high levels of chronic and/or crippling anxiety or fear. This anxiety and stress may interfere with behavioral, social, academic, or work-related functioning, and impair the individual’s ability to think clearly or get things done. Some people are naturally more sensitive than others and have a tendency to feel overwhelmed. In some children, this sensitivity may manifest through behavioral problems; sensitive and anxious children often throw temper tantrums or lash out when they feel overwhelmed. Other children may become withdrawn or disengaged. Adults with anxiety may feel constantly stressed or worried, experience overwhelming fear and helplessness, or find it difficult to relax. Most importantly, high levels of anxiety and stress compromise an individual’s quality of life.
Our inclusive and unique neuropsychological evaluations identify difficulties with emotional regulation, including problems with anxiety, stress, depression, and social fears. We are able to clarify the roots of an individual’s sensitivities, and in our detailed and individualized report, we include recommendations for management and treatment.
CAAT emphasizes comprehensive care across a lifetime, and so we also offer individual, group, family, and couples therapy to address specific symptoms and challenges that arise from emotional dysregulation. Information about our treatment services can be found here.
Medical / Neurological
Our evaluations help identify and address the unique needs for clients who are, or are suspected of being, affected by problems related to premature birth, genetic disorders, seizures, and brain trauma.
Medical complications can lead to a range of social, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive challenges. Our goal is to help clarify, manage and mitigate these challenges through ongoing evaluation and support. An assessment at CAAT can identify weaknesses in an individual’s neuropsychological profile that may be related to medical or neurological problems. In our detailed and personalized assessment report, we offer recommendations and prioritize interventions to manage these challenges. We also provide ongoing follow-up and monitoring after evaluation to track changes and adjust treatment plans as necessary.
Concerns about a young child’s development after premature birth or due to other medical/neurological conditions are most often addressed through our comprehensive developmental evaluations. These evaluations, offered through our Developmental Clinic, are targeted for our youngest clients and help identify changes or ongoing difficulty in a child’s behavioral regulation and social, emotional, motor, and language development resulting from a medical or neurological condition. If you have concerns about your young child’s development, please click here.
Neuropyschological assessments can also provide insight and understanding for individuals with Social Challenges & Autism Spectrum Disorder.
How do I start an assessment?
Scheduling an assessment at CAAT is fast and easy. We are always accepting new clients and proud to offer full services to support past and current clients, including follow-up appointments, service referrals and collaboration with other providers as requested.
How do I schedule an assessment?
Call our office to speak with an administrator who will gather your basic demographic details and schedule a telephone intake with CAAT’s client services liaison. The intake call is free of charge, lasts approximately 20 minutes, and enables us to understand your needs, connect you with the right clinician, and provide you an overview of our fees and services.
What does assessment at CAAT entail?
Our comprehensive assessment aims to build a full neuropsychological profile for each client. We interview parents or individuals close to the client to build a background and basis for understanding the person before we engage with in-person testing visits in our office. In addition to working one-on-one with clients, we gather input from parents, teachers, and other providers as part of our evaluation process.
Assessments occur over a series of appointments: first, a clinical interview with the parents or close contact for the client; then in-person client appointments to administer specific test protocols and diagnostic measures; and finally a feedback session to review data, discuss clinical observations, explain any diagnoses, and recommend individually tailored treatment options. A comprehensive written report detailing diagnostic measures, our clinical findings, diagnoses and treatment plan is sent within six weeks of the feedback appointment.
When will the assessment begin?
We make every effort to see clients quickly. How soon an assessment starts will depend on a variety of factors, but typically our evaluation appointments begin six to ten weeks after the intake call. For developmental assessments (evaluations of children under age 4), we see clients within three to six weeks of the intake call.
How much does assessment cost?
Our assessment fees vary depending on the unique services and testing materials/protocols that are appropriate to best answer and address our clients’ needs. Our client services liaison can provide a quote for the specific services relevant for your case during the intake call.
Does CAAT take insurance?
CAAT is considered an out-of-network service provider. We do not participate with or accept payment from insurance companies. Our clients are responsible for fees; upon payment, we provide them a Superbill that can be submitted to their insurer for any eligible reimbursement.
For clients requesting pre-authorization of services, we can provide the procedural codes billed in our assessments. However, typically the referring provider is asked by insurance to submit pre-authorization outlining the need for assessment services.